Singapore Air Show

Newly Expanded Sanad Looks to Asia-Pacific To Drive Businesses

 - February 7, 2020, 12:00 PM

Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Development Company’s Turbine Services & Solutions (TS&S) rebranded late last year as Sanad Capital. Now divided into two distinct business units—one dedicated to aircraft engines and the other aimed at the energy and industrial markets—the original rotables-leasing business now looks forward to new market possibilities.

In November, parent Mubadala announced the integration of specialist aircraft engine MRO business, Sanad Aerotech (Booth C87), Sanad Powertech, and Sanad Capital (formerly known as Sanad Aero Solutions), a dedicated leasing partner for the global aerospace industry, under one umbrella, to form a new “industry champion,” to be known as “Sanad,” the Arabic word for “support,” or more specifically, Mansoor Janahi, CEO, Sanad Aerotech, told AIN, “we’ve got your back.”

Sanad Powertech, the MRO solutions provider for gas turbine and rotating driven equipment in the energy and industrial sectors, is not participating in the Singapore Airshow.

The rebranding and combining of the group was well-timed for Sanad Aerotech, Janahi said. It came as the MRO provider is moving forward with a strategy to expand its global reach. To that end, the company last week signed a multi-faceted 15-year agreement with Ethiopian Airlines that builds on a 2018 memorandum of understanding to collaborate on auxiliary power unit capabilities. 

The agreement covers the establishment of a center of excellence for the repair and overhaul of APUs in Addis Ababa, beginning with those used on Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft. Plans call to expand into aircraft components and aircraft engine MRO.

This agreement is particularly important for Sanad for a couple of reasons, Janahi said. It expands Sanad’s presence beyond Abu Dhabi into Africa. “We are looking to establish a global footprint, starting with Africa,” he said. “We see Africa as a continent that is going to continue to grow from an MRO perspective. There is significant opportunity [there].”

Sanad’s growth strategy also includes forging new and building on existing partnerships with airline and OEM customers.

“We further strengthened our OEM and airline partnerships with GE Aviation, Rolls-Royce, Nordwind Airlines, TAP Air Portugal and LATAM Airlines, among others, and signed key agreements totaling more than AED24.5 billion [$6.7 billion],” Janahi said.

These included a deal announced last June with Rolls-Royce to service one-quarter of the Trent 700 engines planned for MRO in a given year, amounting for roughly 75 annually. This involved a nine-year deal that will get underway in 2021. In other deals announced in November, Sanad is supporting GEnx engines under a 15-year agreement and Leap-X engines under a 10-year deal.

Janahi noted that these come following its more than three-decade history in serving the airline MRO industry. “As TS&S, we were a trusted and reliable partner to some of the world’s largest OEMs, including Rolls-Royce, GE Aviation, International Aero Engines (IAE), and Pratt & Whitney. As Sanad, our world-class expertise will continue for our valued partners and customers, including commercial airlines Etihad Airways, Latam Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Onur Air, Azerbaijan Airlines, amongst many others.”

An important part of this expansion, he added, is building on its capabilities to ensure the organization is as efficient as possible with the best possible turnaround times, he said. This includes significant investments in smart tooling and other technologies throughout its shop. “We are preparing the business to be ready for the future.”

In a sign of the success of its aviation-related businesses, the share of Aerospace, Renewables, and ICT (information, communications, and technology) in the parent’s total revenues increased from 4.3 percent in full-year 2018 to 6.7 percent in the first half of last year. Because some other segments were loss-making, the aerospace unit also contributed over half of the parent’s net profits in the first half.

Janahi cited trade publication data to say that global commercial MRO demand was expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 2.9 percent over the next decade, with the Middle East and India the standout region, at 8.2 percent. Aging aircraft fleets, emission regulations by various regulatory bodies, and rapid fleet expansion plans of commercial airlines and military forces are seen as major factors driving industry growth.

“Sanad Aerotech’s priority at the [show] is to [demonstrate] our…capabilities in providing quick turnaround with reliable maintenance of engines at competitive prices and meet with our partners and customers in the region, such as Asiana,” he said. “Our presence in the region is bolstered by our long-term agreement with Asiana, which we signed in 2018.”

These included a deal announced last June with Rolls-Royce to service one-quarter of the Trent 700 engines planned for MRO in a given year, amounting to roughly 75 annually. Sanad is also supporting GEnx engines under a 15-year agreement and Leap-X engines under a 10-year deal.

Janahi cited trade publication data to say that global commercial MRO demand is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 2.9 percent over the next decade, with the Middle East and India the standout region, at 8.2 percent. Aging aircraft fleets, emissions regulations by various regulatory bodies, and rapid fleet expansion plans of commercial airlines and military forces are seen as major factors driving industry growth.

“Sanad Aerotech’s priority at the [show] is to [demonstrate] our…capabilities in providing quick turnaround with reliable maintenance of engines at competitive prices and meet with our partners and customers in the region, such as Asiana,” he said. “Our presence in the region is bolstered by our long-term agreement with Asiana, which we signed in 2018.”